Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Perks [updated]

No wonder all the country’s MPs are so eager to get behind the Law Commission’s recommendation for an “independent Remuneration Authority” to set MPs’ perks (reported, for some reason, as “losing control” of them).

MPs across the spectrum have been quick to jump on board this recommendation because they know that it will do nothing to stop their troughing—that instead, it will only legitimise it.

What a sweet ruse.

And they know too that even if, by some outside chance, the Authority did cut their perks, that the same Authority would still grant them a salary increase to compensate for the loss of this “entitlement”—instead of the salary cut that the economic situation and their performance suggests they actually deserve. And the MPs can then say that said increase is nothing to with them.

What a rort.

So this is nothing at all to get excited about. Just more of the same, only worse.

And no surprise either that while all MPs without exception are happy to take up this ruse rort recommendation, they’re united almost across the board in opposing the recommendation that they face exposure of their troughing through Official Information Authority requests—which was the only decent thing the Law Commission recommended, and quite possibly they only thing that won’t be taken up.

On no account do they want to the brief window on their perks that opened up this year to remain open.

So the troughing of our masters will continue without public scrutiny.

And those who pick up the tab for it will once again be kept in the dark.

No wonder all the MPs are so happy about it.

UPDATEMark Hubbard makes an associated point:

_Quote 1) This group of people are either so incompetent, or so dishonest, or, a mixture of the two, that they can't even be relied upon to manage a simple system of reimbursements…

And at the same time…

_Quote2) This same group of individuals are responsible for a government spend that makes up almost half the … spending in our entire economy.

Does that situation make any sense at all?   Does it?


  1. MP salary should be indexed to gross national income per capita or some other production number, perhaps with an adjustment to net out real estate development, where pollies generally have a conflict of interest.
    This rule would be a significant cost saving as you would not need yet another huge bureaucracy to administer.

  2. @V wouldn't that just encourage them to produce more artificial boom times based on malinvestments?

  3. Simplify the system. Deposit a single amount in the MPs bank account at the beginning of the year that is a composite of salary & expenses. Then leave them to spend it as they see fit. But when it's gone it's gone.

    They'd soon grasp financial management & accountability - as it's to themselves. You'd terminate a whole department of bureaucracy (receipt checkers) & the associated paperwork & the perk-distractions would be a thing of the past. How they spent it would be their business.

    Have it inflation adjusted every two years. That is all.

  4. @PaulB

    I take your point, hence trying to exempt real estate which is prone to political influence, granted there may be other areas. But wouldn't it be nice to have politicians focussed on growing the pie rather than dividing it.

  5. Also that's why I think it would have to be related to production rather than a consumption based number.

  6. I am not in favour of the crucifixions that are going on in NZ regarding expenses.
    I personally believe that we appoint people, to look after us, and that that will cost money.

  7. You want people to look after you, Peter, you pay them the money to do so. But kindly leave the rest of us out of your tawdry arrangement.

  8. @Peter
    Need to update your profile, it says you are a redneck. Do rednecks really need people to look after them?


  9. Meanwhile, many of us are sinking, going under and being buried by debt etc, working for low wages or can't find work. MP's need to live in the real world, but their ivory towers are temporary, at least. Some have already come crashing down.


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